Uncertainty remains for residents of Radharc na Sleibhte

A Carndonagh councillor says that uncertainty still hangs over the heads of the residents at Radharc na Sleibhte about the facility’s future.

In December, the closure of the mental health residential and respite centre was proposed as part of the planned reconfiguration of the Donegal Mental Health Service.

Cllr. Albert Doherty says while a letter was sent to elected members and members of the Regional Health Forum, there were no timelines or firm plans for the present day included.

Cllr. Doherty the process has shown a lack of human compassion to vulnerable members of the community:


HSE Statement:

Donegal Mental Health Services (MHS) currently provide long term 24 hour care in a number of HSE owned properties throughout County Donegal. In line with the HSE National Policy “Time to Move on from Congregated Settings Report (2011)” and New Directions Report (2012), Donegal MHS is currently progressing with the reconfiguration of their residential services provided in four Supervised Residential Units (SRUs), including “Radharc na Sleibhhte in Carndonagh.

The national policy context places an emphasis on non-congregated settings, and this is supported by the approach and feedback from the Mental Health Commission (MHC). In that regard, Donegal MHS has been preparing to meet their obligations under these standards, and part of that process is the move to independent community living for residents of SRUs such as Radharc na Sleibhhte, in line with the principles of recovery. It is proposed to implement the above transition plan on a phased basis.

In relation to Radharc na Sleibhte, Donegal MHS have identified the need for a seven-day outreach service to support those who require this service in order to remain living in their own home and integrate with their local community. This is a recovery based model promoting independence, hope and choice for all and will be a further development of the wellness café and nature walks that have been developed over the last few years.

We also plan to develop a Day Hospital Service for more acute short term service users, similar to that available in Letterkenny for many years, and which has been very successful in reducing the level of admissions that have been required to the Department of Psychiatry.

In addition, it is planned to use part of the building to provide respite accommodation for the area. Radharc naSleibhte is of an older style building and will require some upgrading works over a period of time.

In the meantime, it is expected that most of these services will be able to commence immediately and the upgrade works will be done alongside the delivery of the services as resources become available.

The next phase of the process is to commence discussion with service users, their families and staff in order to agree an overall transition plan for residents. Donegal MHS is committed to working with all involved to ensure that the impact of any changes is kept to a minimum in order to provide an improved service to MHS service users in the area.